Your Processes Can Drive Your Requirements

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There are three types of [tip:processes=Processes are a series of actions (tasks, steps, activities) that yield a specific result. Processes are present in and outside websites and can be performed by humans and technology.] that can influence how you plan your site.

  • Processes that influence if, when, why, and how some would use your site (life)
  • Processes used to perform tasks within your site (content management)
  • Processes used to plan, build, and sustain your site (site production and sustainment).

For examples of each type of process, consider the table below.

Three Processes
Life’s Processes Content Management Processes Production & Operations

Communicate
Share
Teach
Learn
Sell
Buy
Serve

Author content
Edit content
Review content
Revise content
Approve content
Interact with the site

Analyze needs
Identify requirements
Create a design
Develop the site
Implement the site
Maintain the site technology
Sustain the site content

When you distinguish between these types of processes, you can be productive when planning your site’s functions and features as well as the work required building and sustaining your CMS-based site.

Life’s Processes

If people are visiting your site, they have a reason. Something in their life is happening and they need to be on your site. It could be someone’s birthday and they are ordering gifts. It could be time to submit a project deliverable so they are uploading the final document to the project document repository. It could simply mean they are your friend and want to read the article you posted on your site and then advertised on your Facebook page. What ever the reason, actions occurred and they are on your site as a means of continuing or finished the action.

Recognizing life’s processes, life’s reasons that bring your audience to your site is going to play an important role when you identify your site’s goals, requirements, and design. They are also what define how your content will be managed in your site. The types of processes you want to support on your site will influence the CMS you need. The more you want to support, the more you will need your CMS to do, which is obvious. The point is to think about what you need now versus what you might need in the future.

Content Management Processes

Content management processes include those tasks required to create, upload, edit, review, approve, and view the content on your site. If you want to meet the needs of your audience, you are going to need a way to put the content they want into your site. You will need a site structure that enables your content developers to post the content your audience wants.

The content management processes you use when the site is in production might not be the same as those processes used after the site is launched. For example, if your site launches with content that is meant to entice your audience to contribute their thoughts and ideas, the process you used to create the enticement pages is probably not going to be the same as those used by your site members when they share their thoughts and ideas. For instance, your members probably won’t be adding content to the menu structure and they might not be able to attach files.

Production & Operations Processes

Production and operations processes are used to plan, build, and sustain your site. It's one thing to develop content, it's another to create and maintain a site that can house the content. The tasks and activities performed during production and operations make it possible for your content to be on the Internet.

Summary

The reason for distinguishing between these types of processes is to help you organize your efforts. It may seem simple and to some it may seem obvious but when you dive into creating your own site (or helping someone else create theirs), you can find yourself spinning in circles as elements or aspects of each type of process start to overlap. Placing your list of to-do items into categories such as these can help you stay focused. 

 

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